“I want to be content in the presence of God with me, no matter what the circumstances are around me.” – David Platt
David Platt preaches from Hebrews 13:1–21 at TGC21. He reminds us that we have an adversary who wants to destroy our intimacy with Jesus and divert his people from his mission in the world, which is why we have the book of Hebrews.
Platt gives 25 ways that God directs his people through instructions, expectations, declarations, and a benediction in the final chapter of Hebrews. Platt exhorts us to fix our eyes on the Son of God, our reward, our Savior, our Sympathizer, our Intercessor, our Great High Priest who covers over all our sins, and the Great Shepherd who oversees our soul.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
David Platt: So if you have a Bible and I hope you or somebody around you does that you can look on with. Let me invite you to open with me to Hebrews chapter 13. Hebrews chapter 13. I love God’s Word so much. And I love how this conference has been a journey through it specifically through the book of Hebrews. And I’m pretty confident that your head and hearts are already full, which makes me really hesitant because, well, when when I was given Hebrews 13, one through 21 Is my text, I didn’t realize I could just choose a few verses. So I’ve planned a sermon to the whole thing. And I’m going to go ahead and warn you, it’s not a three point sermon. It’s not a five point sermon, or a 10 point sermon. I have 25 points that I want to cover in a matter of a few minutes, so you can have lunch. So so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna and no, I’m not joking, so serious. So I’m going to put these points up on the screen along with the Scripture if it would help you follow along.
But I hope it will help us get a sense of how the author of Hebrews ends this book with just a litany of instructions and expectations and declarations and ultimately a benediction. So let’s dive right in. I’m gonna put a sentence on the screen to set the stage for this journey through Hebrews chapter 13. So here it is. There is an adversary who wants to destroy your intimacy with Jesus and divert you from mission in the world. So if I could just speak best as I can face to face with you in this room watching online, there is an adversary who wants to destroy your intimacy with Jesus and divert you from his mission in the world. Much like it’s been said in different ways at different points this week, I believe this is why we have the book of Hebrews. The author’s writing to men and women in the first century, most of them with Jewish backgrounds who were tempted to settle for religious activity devoid of relational intimacy with Jesus as Savior and sympathizer and intercessor and mediator, the superior sacrifice and anointed son who radiates the glory of God, they were missing him. And they were tempted to retreat from the mission he had given them in the world to make disciples of all the nations, particularly when that would mean leaving the confines of safe, comfortable Judaism, to risk their lives, for the spread of Christ supremacy to the ends of the earth.
And our situation may be different in many ways today, but market down brothers and sisters, there is an adversary who wants you, me to settle for religious activity devoid of relational intimacy with Jesus. There is an adversary who wants to rob you and me of the joy and the wonder of Walking With and worshipping Jesus as Savior and sympathizer and faithful intercessor. And he wants to sideline you and me on mission. There’s an adversary who wants to so beat you down. To so discouraged your heart, to so distract your mind that you retreat from the most important mission in the world. And God inspires this book, to give his people a glimpse of Jesus in all of his beauty, and to call this people to spend their lives spreading his supremacy to the ends of the earth. That’s what I’m convinced the last chapter of Hebrews is all about. So coming straight out of Hebrews 1228 to 29, which we have meditated on, we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. So let’s worship Him with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.
And so coming from this, the kingdom that can’t be shaken, worshiping with him with reverence and all our God who’s a consuming fire. God gives us a list of instructions and expectations, declarations and this benediction that combined together to say, Don’t hold back. Don’t hold back love Jesus with ALL Your heart and all your soul and all your mind all your strength. Don’t try to manufacture a heart for ministry, pastors and church leaders and miss a heart for Jesus love Him and live for the spread of his love in the world. So 20 Why 25 ways to do that? Here we go. Number one, God says to His people who are tempted to miss intimacy with Jesus and His mission in the world, to start here, love the church, like your family.
Love the church, like your family, Let brotherly love continue. You need each other God says, don’t turn on each other. Do not turn on each other. The implication seems to be that brotherly and sisterly bonds in the church were becoming frayed. And God says, Philadelphia, what’s the word there? Brotherly Love your family doesn’t mean you always agree on everything. I have four kids. We’re in the process of adopting more. There’s plenty of different perspectives and disagreements in our house, but we are family and the church is even more family than that closer family than that, right because our bond lasts forever. But I’m privileged to be a part of a church I think about our church family and Metro DC has over 100 Chrebet countries represented in it every single week, somebody different sends us out with the Great Commission in a different language. And I get to be family with all of them. As part of what I love about a conference like this meeting people for the first time in a hall and there’s just instant fellowship in Christ, the kind of fellowship we do not turn from over tertiary or even secondary theological issues.
We Let brotherly love continue even when it’s hard to do. Love the church like your family, and number two love strangers like their angels. God says in verse two do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers. And it’s interesting the word he uses there for strangers is filled Xenia which in a beautiful way, sounds in the original language and looks like Philadelphia and the previous verse. So the picture is show similar love to strangers to people in need of a home that you may not even know for thereby some of entertain angels unawares, and allusion to Genesis chapter 18, when three men show up, and Abraham and Sarah never could have imagined, whose presence they had just been in love strangers like they are surprisingly special guests in your home. Keep going. Number three love the imprisoned and the persecuted. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated since you also are in the body. It was easy in that day, when a brother or sister was arrested or mistreated for other Christians to keep their distance from them. So these other Christians wouldn’t be arrested or mistreated along with them.
God says don’t do it. Don’t avoid your brother or sister you live like you’re in prison with them. Remember them care for them. This is a needed word for us. Especially in a place where we’re gathered so freely for worship. Are you Are we remembering continually our brothers and sisters in North Korean prisons like we are with them? Are we praying regularly for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Somalia and Afghanistan. We told the story the other night of one of our radical workers in Afghanistan, he sneaks out of his village every night goes to a cave to get a Bible that’s hidden there. He brings it back. They read it by candlelight with a few other believers then one of them takes it back to the cave before the sun rises. Because if they’re caught with a Bible, they’ll immediately be killed. We must identify with these are this is our family must identify with them, love them care for them in every way we can. And when we do I guarantee it will change our perspective on the trials we’re walking through during these days. I love the imprisoned in the persecuted. Now the next exportation is interesting, it almost seems like it’s out of left field, but it’s not. It’s the number four. Hold marriage and sex high according to God’s word.
Hold marriage and sex high Let marriage be held in honor among all that the marriage bed be undefiled a picture of sexual relationship in marriage for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous so we don’t have time to dive into all the reasons why this expectation might come at this point. But I would just suffice to say that this one along with the next one are to clear potent displays of the wisdom of God and His Word. At the end of this book calling Christians to persevere In close intimacy with Jesus on costly mission in the world, God says key to doing both of those things. intimacy with Jesus and mission in the world is holding marriage and sex high according to God’s word.
And we know this, we see this all around us today. You want to experience intimacy with Jesus, honor your spouse, treasure your marriage bed, every husband and wife in the room. Let’s work to make sure that the pressures of these days don’t cause us in any way to neglect loving and cherishing and treasuring our spouse, growing in intimacy with our spouse in a way that we flee or fleeing adultery, fleeing sexual immorality, fleeing pornography. If you dishonor marriage, you will destroy your intimacy with Jesus. And you will denigrate the picture of the gospel that God is designed to be displayed in the world to the world in a husband sacrificial love for his wife and a wife’s respectful of for husbands.
So married brothers and sisters, let’s treasure intimacy with our spouse as a means of intimacy with Jesus and a means of mission in the world. And to all of us single and married, let’s hold marriage high, even when it’s costly in the culture around us. Hold marriage and sex high according to God’s word. And the number five hold money and possessions loosely in this world. Keep your life free from the love of money isn’t this the wisdom of God, even for us reading this 2000 years later, in a culture of rampant sexual confusion and material obsession, God says the love of money will destroy your love for Jesus. You hear this amidst all the wealth that surrounds us. You can’t serve two masters, either hate one and love the other Be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Money love of it destroys intimacy with Jesus and you take can’t take the gospel to the ends of the earth. If you spend all of your money on yourself or hoard it for a rainy day. Now we’re starting to see how countercultural I’d say radical these commands are. And here’s why you can hold money and possessions loosely in this world. Number six, because you can be content and the presence of God with you. Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have. For he has said I will never leave you nor forsake you. Oh, this is so good. And needed to be content with what you have. Money and with anything else. Philippians four says in any in every circumstance, right? Be content with what you have for God has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Can I be a bit vulnerable with you?
I’m guessing I’m not alone. But even if I am, I would say this last year has been a constant fight for contentment in my heart. And I’ve had to continually ask is the presence of God with me enough for me? When things feel like they’re falling apart, and I don’t know how to fix them? Is God’s presence with me. Enough for me in that moment when the criticisms keep coming? Is God’s presence with me? Enough for me when the false accusations keep spreading? Is God’s presence with me? Enough for me when there’s nothing that I can do about a heart wrenching dynamic in our family? Is God’s presence with me, enough for me? It’s God’s presence with you. Enough for you. I want to be content in the presence of God with me no matter what the circumstances are around me.
And not just content with his presence for keep going here. I want to be confident the help of God for me that’s number seven. Be confident in that help of God for you one of my favorite verses in this chapter, verse six. So we can confidently say the Lord is my helper. I will not fear What can man do to me. I love this. It’s a quote from Psalm 118. But similar language in places like Psalm 27, Psalm 36. So in Psalm 36, David talks about how he’s overwhelmed by attacks from others, and three times he uses the phrase all day long. It’s like you saying, one after another? I can’t take a break. It’s one thing after another after another, do you ever feel like that? Have you felt like that this last year like you just can’t get out from under it. One thing drives you to, to despair. And you’re an attempt to deal with that.
You’re actually sometimes just driven into deeper despair. Or then something else comes up over here that drives you into despair. And you just think I just want a break like something good to happen, even just a moment to rest. That’s David in Psalm 56. He’s overwhelmed. He’s opposed. He writes about people who are trampling on him and attackers who are oppressing him, injuring him thinking evil thoughts about him. And it’s not physical attack in that situation, as much as it is verbal battles and coordinated plots to harm. David is overwhelmed, oppose, and alone and afraid in the middle of it all. He writes in Psalm 36, three when I am afraid, it’s really interesting in the very next verse, Psalm 56, For David says, what we see here and Hebrews chapter 1360 says, What can flesh What can man do to me?
And I read that question, I think, well, a lot. Right? Man, woman, people can attack and oppose and slander you, and ruin your reputation. And far worse, people can threaten injure you people can kill you. Seems like man can do a lot to you. This is what I love about this verse in Hebrews and these verses in the Psalms, in light of all that man can do to you or me? How can we not fear How can we not be anxious? How can we not be overwhelmed? How can we be confident? Here’s how we confidently say, The Lord is my helper. The Lord God is my helper. Like if I were to follow you around at this conference, and stand by your side, and whenever you needed something, whatever you needed, I would give it to you, I’d be your helper. And that is who God is for me. I just hit me up. One particular point this last year is that we’re just meditating on who the Lord is amidst tensions in the church, Mitch tensions in our country. And the Lord spoke to me again, through those verses we love and Isaiah 40, verses 28 to 31. Don’t you love those verses when God’s people were overwhelmed and opposed and weak and afraid? And God says, have you not known?
Have you not heard the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator, the ends of the earth? He doesn’t grow faint, are weary he gives power to the faint. Tim, who has no might, he increases strength, us grow tired and weary, young men fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, mount up with wings, like eagles run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. I’m reading that thing. And I want that. And then I start going back before those verses amidst all those tensions, and Isaiah 40 says, over and over again, multiple times, behold your God, behold your god Behold, it’s like the Bible is saying, Just look, Isaiah 40 Verse 15, I’ll put it up here behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are counted as dust on the scales behold he takes up the coastlands like find us all the nations are as nothing before their academy him is less than nothing in emptiness.
And I’m reading that amidst tensions church tensions in our country and I’m thinking this is my god amidst turmoil in my country the nations are like a drop from a bucket so there’s a bucket here’s a dropper I just want to give you a picture of the nation’s before our God ready wait for it the nations of the world in my god’s hands by all the nations all the rulers wipe that off or or they are counted accounted as the dust on the scale. So I got a scale up here. Scale and let’s just imagine this book is full of dusts. Maybe it’s my dissertation has been read by no one. Absolutely no one apply aside from the 3d but I paid to read it in order to pay them to give it I mean you get the point they work for the school so full of dust so I’m just gonna just gonna blow the dust onto the scale and see the effect did nothing I think I think went backwards for some reason build the nation’s before our God the whole they open your eyes David look at with new eyes with new perspective then you keep going Isaiah 40 Verse 25 Two will you compare me that I should be like him says the Holy One Lift up your eyes and see who created these who brings out their number calling them all by name talking about the stars by the greyness of his might because he’s strong and power Not one is missing behold your god I think about the last time I was in the middle of unreached villages in the Himalayas one of the guys I was with took this picture the stars just that’s that was our view.
One night then one night he did one of those time lapse thing watch this. So this was our view and here’s what it was all throughout the night Did you see that one? I’m gonna circle here. I gotta show you this. Alright, so it’s gonna be watch on the bottom right? What happened in the middle of night there Okay, here we go. And they’re like smoke who did that? Oh my God did that. He did it. This was this was that that moment frozen. Isaiah 40 says, My God brings out these stars one by one and calls them each by name. You serious?
There they Oh, there is z 1436 Niner. I don’t know what their names are. But God does. And this God who holds the nation’s in his hand. They’re like dust on the scales before him. He brings out the starry host one by one and he calls the Meech by name. This God says to me, and he says to you fear knots, I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God, I will strengthen you I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand I the Lord’s or God, I hold your hand he’s holding your hand praise this god he’s hold you’re holding your hand all year long. This next year, whatever may come he holds your hand. He says I am not I am the one who helps you fear not. Indeed, What can man do to me? What can man do to me when God is my defender? What can man do to me when this God is my provider?
What can man do to me when this God is my friend and my Father? Lord is my helper. So I will not fear What can man do to me? Can I speak that word over you, brother, sister in Christ, wherever you are, it’s whatever you’re walking through. God is your defender received. God is your provider. God is your friend. God is talking about God. He’s your friend. God is your Father who loves you as his son or daughter. The Lord is your helper. So be confident in the help of God for you. So number eight, I got to pick up the pace. We’re gonna start to speed it up after this next one, so number eight. imitate those who proclaim the Word and finish the race. imitate those who proclaim the Word and finished the race.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God, consider the outcome of the way their way of life and imitate their faith. So good. Most commentators believe this is a reference to leaders in the church who taught God’s word held fast to it all the way to the end. They faithfully finished the race they have died. God is saying you won’t experience intimacy with God. Jesus, follow him on mission in the world. You need to remember, don’t forget, you just think about men and women whose faith carried them all the way to the end. I think about an older brother and close friend of mine in the faith, Jonathan B. We served alongside each other as pastors in the church. He this, this brother taught me more about mission in God’s word than anyone else in my life. Jonathan spent years of his life spreading the gospel in countries like Afghanistan. Then one day they found a tumor on his brain. They did surgeries over time, but his condition eventually Wersching worsened. And I was overseas on a trip flying back in when I got worried that he wasn’t doing well.
So I switched connecting flights once I got back to the States flew to Birmingham, where he lived and went to his house, saw his wife Carla, and their three amazing kids. And I went into his room and I just got to sit by Jonathan’s bedside and talk with him for about three hours late into the night. He whispered most of the time. It took tons of energy just for him to have a conversation but we reminisced, we laughed, we cried. We prayed and talked about God’s word and family and mission. And there was one point when I had to step out so that palliative care could the people from palliative care care could come talk to him. And he could sign some papers saying that they could basically let him die. And I came back in while they’re setting up a bed for him in his room to die on. And he just looked at me and he whispered, said, David, God is good. And God is good. He told me about calling his three kids in the room earlier in the day, they were 1412 and nine, and explained to them what it means to bring in hospice for their dad. But he looked at his kids who are now crying with him and he said, Kids, God is good.
A few weeks after that, Jonathan went to be with the Lord. And it’s good. It’s good on hard days, when you’re tired, when you’re waning in intimacy with Jesus or you’re tempted to throw in the towel. It’s good to remember the Jonathan’s could remember their love for Jesus, and their devotion to mission all the way to their death. And say, I want to imitate their faith and wants to shrink back on our hold fast all the way to the end. cloud of witnesses remember the Jonathan’s in your life? Think about them. Often. Knowing that number nine, we claim to the one who rules the world and conquered the grave. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So brothers and sisters, people, even people we love come and go.
And people change in so many ways, but not him, not our Savior, not our King. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same Jesus who died on the cross and love for us is the same Jesus who rose from the grave, same Jesus who ascended to their Father’s right hand or right now he is interceding for you and me with all authority in heaven and earth. The one with all authority and Heaven and on Earth lives to intercede for you. So cling to the one who rules the world and conquered the grave. I should mention, I wasn’t in Birmingham when Jonathan went to be with the Lord. But I quickly heard the story of how he was surrounded by Carla and their kids and close family and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. And one of those friends called me immediately afterward told me they were gathered around his bed or praying or reading scripture singing.
They could tell he was getting close. They sang because he lives and they got to that last verse and then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain and then his death gives way to victory. I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he rains a saying that last chorus and Jonathan breathed his last breath that’s how to that’s how to remain faithful to the end the intimacy with Jesus on mission in the world, you cling to the one who rules the world and conquered the grave.
Number 10. feast every day, especially on the hardest days on the table of His grace, verses nine and 10 Don’t be led away by diverse and strange teachings for it’s good for the hearts to be strengthened by Grace now by foods which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who served the 10 have no right to eat. There’s so much here, but just get this phrase in is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace. Ha. And you want that? Don’t you want a strong heart? How do you have a strong heart during these days or in any days that you have a strong heart, you feast at the table of grace, you don’t go to the Old Covenant sacrifices the author here saying you have a new altar, they have a new table at which to feast, this table of grace that will strengthen your soul. So brothers and sisters, everyday and especially on the hardest days, when our hearts and minds and bodies are most weak, you and I have been invited to feast at the table of God, to have our hearts strengthened.
Personally by His grace is that not awesome? I can think of so many mornings. After long days, this last year when I have woken up, gone into my room close the door opened, the word began journaling and prayer and a meal full of grace was just waiting to strengthen my heart. God is so good to feast everyday, especially in the hardest days at the table of His grace, then go everywhere number 11, especially to the hardest places for the spread of the gospel. For the bodies, verse 11, says of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priests, the sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate. This is second time we see us sit in second order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the approach he endured outside the camp, this phrase referring to the dirty and the despised in the dangerous places, based on all the picture we’ve seen in the Old Testament, author of Hebrews couldn’t be any clearer. You cannot follow Jesus and stay in the safe, comfortable confines of Judaism. You want intimacy with Jesus, you go with him into hard places for the spread of disgrace.
So brothers and sisters, let’s, let’s do this. Let’s go everywhere with him, especially to the hardest places, knowing there are over 3 billion people in over 7000 people groups who have little to no access to this gospel of grace right now, we must go to them as the church that’s where Jesus says he’s commissioned us to make disciples, not just to some people groups, not just right around us, of all the people groups and all the nations we must go knowing that unreached people groups are hard and difficult and dangerous to reach in countries like Afghanistan, or Yemen or Pakistan or Syria or Sudan. But we cannot shrink back. pastored church leader press on and persevere, don’t throw in the towel. There are still 3 billion people who haven’t even heard his name is not the time to retreat is the time for resolve to go to sin from our churches and to work together to reach every nation and particularly the hardest nations with the gospel. Just this last weekend event here TGC radical launched a new tool. And we’re diving into it even deeper next week been working on it for a couple years called strata strategy for unreached synergy, just highlighting the countries of the world where the greatest spiritual, physical, spiritual and physical needs are and saying, what barriers do we have to overcome in order to get the gospel to these places?
This is not just for a few missionaries to figure out this is for the Church of Jesus Christ to do. Jesus is in these places. He died to purchase people for God from every nation, tribe, people and language. So the question is, are we going to stay in the safe, comfortable confines of our church buildings? Are we going to go outside the camp with Jesus to all the nations especially the hardest ones for the spread of His grace and mercy to those who haven’t even heard his name? Knowing that reproach and suffering will come? But never forgetting, number 12 never forget this world is not your home, we will gladly bear the approach or approach he endured in verse 13. For here we have no lasting city, verse 14, we seek the city that is to come, I get it is time to stop caring about the good of our nation more than we care about getting the gospel to other nations. It’s we are not ultimately living for the preservation of our country, we are living for the promise of another country. This world is not our home. We have been commissioned to take the gospel to every tribe and telling people in advance of the day when every tribe and tongue and people will gather around his throne and sing his praises. This is what we live for.
Never forget this world is not our home. So number 13. Praise God continually with your lips in this world. Verse 15. Through him, then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God that is the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Yes, this is now we’re talking to new covenant sacrifice. Continually praising God with our lips, in our worship, and in our witness proclaiming His name, the number 14 Do good self In your life, do not neglect to do good and to share what you have for such sacrifices. There’s another picture of sacrifice. What’s the sacrifice here? sacrifice for lips, verse before this now the sacrifice of our lives selflessly sharing what we have, which then leads to verse 17. And I know I’m speaking primarily to pastors and church leaders today. So I’m gonna actually flip this around and exhort us with what God is saying to leaders through this text. So number 15, humbly keep watch over other souls, obey your leaders submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account, pastors, church leaders, even when it’s hard, let’s humbly care for whatever souls God entrust to us.
And as we keep watch over other souls, number 16, daily fight for joy in your own soul. Let them do this with joy, not with groaning for that would be of no advantage to you implications here are clear, God intends for leaders in the church to lead with joy. Yet leaders in the church are prone to grown under the weight of leadership, particularly in hard days. But this is why we must fight for joy in our lives, because it would be no advantage to the people we lead. If we don’t lead them with joy, their advantage, their growth in Christ hinges on in part, our joy in Christ.
So in the pressures of leadership, and the church that threatened to steal our joy, we must fight to live with joy and lead with that joy so that others as they face pressures in their lives, how will they experience joy if they don’t see that joy that supersedes circumstances in us is why George Mueller said the first and great primary, first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in God. The first thing to be concerned about is not how much I might serve the Lord, how am I glorify the Lord, but how am I get my soul into a happy state, how my inner man might be nourished. I received a message recently for a member of our church, after a particularly challenging day in the church. And he said to me, Pastor, keep it up. And don’t be discouraged. We need you now more than ever to keep us focused on Christ and the gospel, not distracted by the turmoil around us. And then he said this, and it struck me to the core he said, Please lead us by not letting the enemy rob you or us of the joy we have in Christ.
He was asking me Pastor, please, please fight for joy. Don’t let, don’t let the adversary rob you of it. And don’t let the adversary rob us of it as we follow your leadership. God help us. It’s many times the fight was the daily fight for joy in our own souls as we lead those of the church to do the same number 17. act honorably with a clear conscience. Pray for us, we are sure that we have a clear conscience desiring to act honorably in all things. So God help us to act honorably. I’ve got to help us to honor everyone in everything with our thoughts, with our words, particular words behind the scenes, about others, with our posts in front of the scenes, to or about others, and everything help us to honor everyone with a clear conscience. before God and before brothers and sisters in Christ and before watching world act honorably, honorably with a clear conscience number 18. pray earnestly for coming restoration. I urge you to more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner the author here looking forward to the day when they’re restored to one another.
Don’t, don’t we all long for restoration in different ways across the church, as we follow Jesus together on mission in the world. So pray earnestly for that don’t stop praying for that. Knowing that day is coming, which leads right into the one of the most beautiful benedictions and all the Bible. So I’ll read it and then I’ll list out these final expectations Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant. May he equip you with everything good, that you may do is will working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Just think about what the author is praying for them here. It’s so beautiful. He Pray that they would number 19 Receive God’s other worldly peace. What Jesus said in John 14 My peace I give you receive it, I give it to you the peace of God is not yours to earn. The peace of God is yours to receive every moment of every day in every circumstance, he says, I’ll give you my peace, receive God’s otherworldly peace, number 20 rejoice in God’s death defying power. Again, think about it, the one who brought again, our Lord Jesus from the dead, he’s your helper. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in you, Pastor.
That power lives in you, lives in you, mom, lives in you single brother or sister lives in your midst, whatever you’re going through, you have death defying power inside of you. So number 21, follow God’s Shepherd like leadership. He’s the good Jesus is the good, the Great Shepherd, who leads and guides and provides and lays down his life for you, his sheep. And he’ll do this all the way to the end revelation seven makes clear, he will quench your thirst and satisfy your soul. And that day when regarded with every nation, tribe, and tongue, He will wipe every tear from your eyes as your shepherd to follow God’s Shepherd like leadership don’t go astray follow his leadership in your life as your number 20 to lean on.
God’s never ending faithfulness to you. God has made an ever lasting blood bot covenant with you that nothing in this world can shake. So lean every single day. In every single moment. In the middle of that meeting, when you get that email whatever’s happening. Lean on God’s never ending faithfulness to you. Number 23, trusting God’s supernatural work in you. God promises to supernaturally equip you with everything you need to be the man, the woman, the husband, the wife, the dad, the grandparent, the pastor, the church leader, the worker, the student, whoever you are, whatever you do, the supernatural Spirit of God lives in you, to help you equip you to accomplish his good will for you. To trust in His supernatural work inside of you, as your number 24. Live for God’s pleasure, no matter what it costs.
I love this phrase God is working in us that which is pleasing in His sight. My brothers and sisters, when it’s all said and done, when these difficult days of common gone, you may not be able to say that you did everything perfect. You won’t be able to say that you pleased every person or group of people. But don’t you want it to be said, The by God’s grace in you. You lived to please him. No matter what that means for you. No matter what that means for your reputation. No matter what that means for your future. Anything. Live for God’s pleasure. No matter what it costs.
As you do number 25. Look to God’s Son, knowing he is your reward all of this all all of it through. And for Jesus Christ, to whom belongs glory forever and ever keep your eyes on God’s Son, knowing he is your reward. Can I close with a story? I my favorite sport is baseball. And I played baseball growing up as on the high school baseball team, which may cause you to think that we were that I was like good at baseball. But our team was just really bad. And so that’s part of why I was a starter on the team. My senior year, I we didn’t win many games at all. In fact, I remember one particular game. Near the end of the season, we had not won a game at that point. And we were playing another team that was also really really, really bad. And so it was a close game between two bad baseball teams. And it’s tight all throughout. Got to the last inning. And we were the home team.
So they were batting game was tied up. We kept them from scoring, which meant we’re running off the field in the bottom of the last inning with a chance to win the game. And our coach meets us out in front of the dugout. He would always do this when he wants to give us like a pep talk important moment never worked, but he met us out there. And he said listen guys, he said we’ve actually got a chance to win a game and He said, it’s the bottom the last inning. If we don’t do it here, we’re gonna go in extra innings. And what’s probably gonna happen, we’re all like, we’ll lose. He’s like, That’s right, we’ll lose like, this is our chance. So he said, here’s the plan. He pointed his finger in my face. He said, David Europe first. He said, We need you to get first base. Once you get to first we’re gonna steal you over to second.
And once you’re on second, all we need is one hit. You’re on third come home, we win the game. I’m thinking yeah, right. We win the game that doesn’t happen coach, and it’s dependent on me getting the first phrase, first base also does not happen. So all the other guys were like, This is it. Come on, David, you got to do this. So they start cheering me on, I go into the dugout, nervous this can be I grab a helmet, I grab a bat, I start walking out there, like, come on, David, just get to first get to first. So I walk up there. And I’m, I’m praying. And I know like, God, I know you love everyone in this field. But what you use this moment for their sanctification and the first base. So I step up into the batter’s box. And by the grace of Almighty God, I draw a walk. So the Lord saw to it that I wouldn’t even get to swing, because he knew what would happen if I did. So I go walking down the first phase, I get the first phase, I look over the third base coach, and he’s given me the steel sign. I’m like how I like to walk and think better now can actually run.
So I take my lead off first base, pitcher winds and he throws I turn and I start breaking toward second base, running as hard as I can. And I get about five feet away and I start this beautiful headfirst slide in a second pace. And the guy catches the ball. And he tagged me What do you think safer out who’s out over there like a wheels, man. So besides, the story would be horrible, but ended at that point. So anyway, so I was safe, I was safe. So I’m on second base, I’ve done my job. I’m a second base. Now the next guy up to bat strikes out big loser didn’t walk like I did. So now. So now yeah, one out. And if you know anything about baseball, this is if it’s gonna happen, this is what needs to happen. Because if they get a second out, they don’t have to worry about me as much to just focus on that runner.
So this is this one needs to happen. So I I take my lead off second base, pitcher whines and throws the guy hits the ball in between the third baseman, the shortstop, and I turn and I watch the ball go in front of me into left field. I start running toward third base. And as I’m running toward third base, I look up and I see that third base coach. And if I know what he’s doing, he’s doing this like all the way down the line, like faster than I could ever run. And I’m like, coach, why don’t you do this? So he’s like, come on, come on. And so I thought to myself, I touch third base for service. And then I looked up and about 90 feet away from me, I see a dude who’s much bigger than I am wearing all kinds of equipment, throwing off his math, standing over that plate just waiting for me. And I decided this is my moment. I start running hard as I can just movie like rule. All the guys are out of the dugout cheering me on jumping up and down. All the fans are going nuts. There’s only like two people there. But they’re going nuts. I’m telling you we were bad.
Not even our parents would come to watch us play. We were so bad. So anyway, I’m running as hard as I can. I get again a few feet away from home plate and I started this headfirst slide. And it was it was movie light. Like I dove and my hand brushes. Past the plate as the catcher catches the ball, puts it on my arm and we look up in the dust at the umpire. And he yells, not gonna ask you what you think he yells, safe, safe. The guys go nuts, they come running out of the dugout that jump on top of me you think we’d won the World Series, we’d won a game. But it was one of the most actually, it was the only glorious moment of my entire sports career. And there’s pure joy reliving it with you so so let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question. What would you think of me as a baseball player? If when I was rounding third base, I thought you know, I’m kind of hungry right now. I could use a hot dog. And I just go running over the concession stand instead.
What would you think of me? If as I was rounding third base, I were to look up and see over in the stands, maybe some cute girls come to watch us play? Or to think hmm, she looks better than he does. So I just go running over to her and start a conversation about my amazing walk or whatever. What would you think of me if when I’m rounding third base, I look up and I see the coach passionate and going down the line. And I think you know not really talked a lot with Coach Recently, I just stopped for my arm round. I was like, Calm down, bro. Like, how are you? It’s your wife, your kids. You think Well, of course you can’t win a game. Why? Because when it comes down to what is most important, keeping your eyes on where you’re going, you got distracted. You let something divert you. So I’m looking for a room full of people, others online, who are running the race, life and ministry and hard days. And I know there is an adversary who wants to destroy your intimacy with
Jesus. Once you miss it, totally miss him. He wants to fall in your face on the third baseline. Or the very least he wants you on the sidelines, or out of the game diverted from mission in a world that desperately needs what only He can give.
So I just want to exhort you. And fresh way today to fix your eyes on the Son of God, your reward, your Savior, your sympathizer, your enter sesor, your great high priest who covers over all your sins, and the Great Shepherd who oversees your soul, and to say, I want intimacy with you more than ever. And if all these things crashing down around me, brings me closer to you than May it be so you’re the goal. I want you. I want you and I want to spend my life, on mission for Your glory in this world, even when it’s hard. And even when it’s discouraging. I want to keep running the race. You’ve called me to by your grace, until the day when I see your face, and I fall at your feet. And I enjoy and exalt you in all of your glory forever and ever and ever. I just want to call you to keep running with your eyes fixed on him.
So would you would you stand with me i I want to pray. And then let this prayer lead us into song together, where we worship. And we say together Jesus we want you to be exalted is gracious and glorious and worthy. And these days when we want you we want to we don’t want you to be lifted high in our lives. We want you to be lifted high in the world. So God we pray and all of your grace toward us and all the fact that we’re talking to you right now the Lord who holds the nations in your hand and call the stars by name and you’re listening to us right now. And you’re inhabiting our praise right now. And you’re speaking to each of our hearts right now and you’re comforting us and encouraging us. We just thank you thank you for helping us We praise you as our helper. We want to respond to you now and song and we want to say theme of this conference Jesus greater we wouldn’t say we want Jesus to be lifted high in our lives. Jesus we wanted to be lifted high. In our churches, we want the name of Jesus to be lifted high. country in the world, moving the nations among every tribe and tongue and people may the name of Jesus be lifted. I and we had a fresh trade today just lay our lives down before you and we say use our lives toward that end use us to cause your name to be lifted high as we enjoy intimacy with you every step of the way. God made it be so I pray this over every single brother and sister listening right now. Over my own life.